Crate & Barrel will add a full-service restaurant to its store at Oakbrook (Ill.) Center.
The restaurant is a partnership between the Northbrook, Ill.–based home-goods retailer and Chicago’s Cornerstone Restaurant Group. Chicago chef Bill Kim will oversee menu development.
Plans include outdoor dining space on two levels and indoor dining on one level. For now, Oakbrook Center is to be the retailer’s only store-restaurant combo.
“As a longtime destination for dining and housewares, we know that our customers love to entertain, and incorporating food-and-beverage offerings is a natural extension of the Crate & Barrel brand,” CEO Neela Montgomery told the Chicago Tribune. “Though we don’t have concrete plans for more restaurants in additional locations at this time, we’re always exploring new ways to offer meaningful moments to our customers beyond the traditional shopping experience."
“Rival home retailer RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) operates restaurants in five of its stores”
Mixing food-and-beverage with home goods is not new for Crate & Barrel. The retailer had a coffee shop at its store in Chicago’s Ranch Triangle neighborhood about 20 years ago.
Rival home retailer RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) operates restaurants in five of its stores. Those restaurants are generating between $4 million and $6 million annually, according to the company. Meanwhile, results from book chain Barnes & Noble’s five in-store restaurants represent “a very mixed bag,” according to Chairman and founder Leonard Riggio. “We do not have a culture of … operating restaurants,” he said on a conference call. “Things like controlling food costs and payroll costs are not in our DNA. It’s a lot harder than you think it is.”
By Brannon Boswell